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Market Report: FTSE lacks appetite as chocolate lovers and holiday planners re-emerge

FTSE 100 started on the front foot as it anticipates the return of US trading after Wall Street was closed on Monday. London’s leading index surged 43 points to 6,763 in early deals.

easyJet PLC (LON:EZJ) said summer bookings at its holidays arm have rocketed 250% compared to last year. Boss Johan Lundgren is optimistic on the travel sector recovery when restrictions ease.

Premier Foods PLC (LON:PFD) saw trading buoyed by demand for comfort food during lockdown. Sales at the Mr Kipling and Bird’s Custard owner surged 19% in the quarter to Boxing Day.

Hotel Chocolat Group Plc (LON:HOTC) also a 19% sales jump after chocolate proved to be a popular buy before Christmas. Online growth made up for lost sales when UK stores were closed.

Among the small caps, IronRidge Resources  (LON:IRR) shares jumped by a third  on the results of a scoping study for a lithium project in Ghana. Life of mine revenues would exceed US$1.5bn said the study.

OKYO Pharma (LON:OKYO) said a scientist behind two blockbuster drugs will help spearhead the development of a treatment to tackle and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in people infected by coronavirus. Dr Napoleone Ferrara will lead work on the chemerin molecule.

Falcon Oil & Gas (LON:FOG) confirmed it has a new gas discovery on its hands at Kyalla 117 on the Beetaloo project.  Operator Origin Energy has submitted a formal notification to the Australian authorities.

Quick facts: easyJet plc

Price: 994 GBX

LSE:EZJ
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £4.54 billion
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